PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico—It’s not so easy to cast off a MacGregor 65. No sooner did Doug Baker’s Magnitude 80 deep-six Joss’s 22-year-old record a day earlier than David Kory’s sister ship kept the legend alive Wednesday by winning the third and last leg of the Salsa Division in Del Rey Yacht Club’s 19th International Yacht Race to Puerto Vallarta, presented by Corum.
The overall final Salsa standings were yet to be computed, involving handicap ratings and engine use time, but Kory’s dark blue Macgregor 65, fastest rated in the Salsa fleet, finished first on all three legs, and he was confident that he would correct out on everybody for Leg 3, if not the entire race.
The race was especially satisfying for him because he had to drop out of the previous one two years ago after the slugs holding his main sail to the mast blew out. Even then he docked the boat and flew with his crew down to Puerto Vallarta for the finishes and parties.
“This is unfinished business for us,” the sailor from Point Richmond, Calif. said Wednesday. “We wanted to come back and get it done right.”
Other finishers Wednesday included Lorenzo Berho’s J/145, Raincloud, from Puerto Vallarta and the only other Racing Division boat besides Magnitude 80 to finish. Mag 80 had to play catch-up after spotting Raincloud a two-day head start.
“We put some pressure on Magnitude,” Berho said with a not-so-straight face. “Being second place to a new record isn’t so bad.”
Raincloud’s elapsed time of 7 days 0 hours 11 minutes 39 seconds was somewhat off Mag 80′s record of 3:15:51:39, but the latter is rated 140 seconds per miles faster, and it was the first race together for Berho’s crew in preparation for the Transpacific Yacht Race this summer.
“We had two or three great days of sailing with winds of 30 knots, and the wind got warmer all the time,” he said.
Barking Spider 3′s closest rival was Jim Puckett sailing his father Allen’s Farr 55, Amazing Grace, which finished nearly four hours behind early Wednesday afternoon as 15 knots of beam winds kicked up the surf on the beach in front of the Westin Hotel.
Jim Puckett greeted Allen, a longtime racer, and his mother Marilyn at the Opequimar dock and said, “It’s fine, dad, not a scratch on it.”
The younger Puckett also said, “We had unbelievable conditions and some good stops on the way. That’s what makes this race special.”
Kory said, “I don’t know why more races aren’t this way . . . motor when there’s no wind . . . stop and fish or have fun together now and then. It’s great.”
Awards will be presented at separate banquets in Puerto Vallarta Saturday and Sunday. Corum, the lead sponsor, will present the Admiral’s Cup Trophy 41 watch to the winner of each class within each division. The timepiece with a 41mm stainless steel case and nautical pennants instead of numerals to indicate the hours was introduced by Corum before the 2005 race.
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